The Rap Guide to Evolution

While in NYC last weekend, I caught a performance of Baba Brinkman’s “Rap Guide to Evolution.”  Brinkman, a Canadian MC who holds a Masters in Medieval and Renaissance English Literature, became known through his work on “The Rap Canterbury Tales” and related projects.  His evolution show has received plenty of rave reviews, including three glowing commentaries in the NY Times alone ([1], [2], [3]).  Brinkman’s show started strong with a few raps covering basic principles of evolution, like the three requirements for natural selection and the fact that all humans are derived from African ancestors.  (I never thought I’d be doing a call and response of “I’m A African” by Dead Prez at the Soho Playhouse).  The show veered from mainstream evolutionary biology when Brinkman shifted to raps about evolutionary psychology, including one inspired by Daly and Wilson’s controversial book on the evolution of Homicide and another urging us to not sleep with mean people (so that natural selection eliminate them from future generations).  Count me among those who would have preferred more raps on the science of evolutionary biology rather than on speculation of how evolution might be applied to to human society.